Delectables Restaurant & Catering has a habit of turning man’s best friend into a favorite dinner companion.
For the last two years, the North Fourth Avenue staple has offered a special dog menu for patrons who bring their pups with them to eat.
Options for Tucson’s furry friends include the “Pooched Eggs” plate, which is two hard-boiled eggs mixed into rice, “Pup in the Chicken Coop,” a dish of boiled chicken breast julienned on rice, and “Buried Treasure,” a small spaghetti meal, with no sauce and a meatball on top.
The meals are low-sodium, onion-free, garlic-free and all but one are gluten-free, manager Christopher Baldwin said.
Prices per plates run from $3 to $5.
“It has been very popular,” Baldwin said. “Fourth Avenue is the perfect environment for something like this. It’s high density. There are a lot of students and a lot of West University housing.
“A lot of people are out walking their dogs.”
The idea for a dog menu came to Baldwin two years ago.
A production company was filming a pilot for a television show called “The Pet Friendly Traveler” and wanted to use the Delectables patio as a backdrop.
During filming, Baldwin had an epiphany.
“I thought there was no reason why we couldn’t make healthy, handcrafted food for dogs here,” he said.
Today, the dog menu, which comes laminated with an eye-catching retro motif, makes Delectables a popular spot for canine enthusiasts.
Baldwin said the restaurant tries to make it a comfortable environment for both humans and their pets.
Items from the dog menu are prepared separately from the plates for humans. Dishes are washed separately and stored in separate cabinets.
Baldwin said the restaurant gets at least one dog owner a day on the patio. Once a month, members of a dog-friendly singles group called “Yappy Hour” meet there for cocktails.
Baldwin said he and his wife like to go to Delectables after hiking on Sunday so their dog, a Labrador-German shepherd mix named Lucy Lou, can have a bite.
“We have dogs who bring their owners to Delectables,” he said. “They know exactly where they are going on walks.
“They lead their owners right here.”